May 24, 2018 2:14:44 pm
The Star Wars franchise has stayed popular mainly because of two things: its story and characters. The story of a young person realising their powers to beat a dark lord may be derived from The Lord of the Rings (I call this the Frodian), but it is all thanks to the timelessness of the archetype that it is always appealing. But peculiarly, Star Wars’ most popular character is not any one of primary protagonists, Luke Skywalker and Rey, but Han Solo, a character played by Harrison Ford who does not fall into either the black or white categories, but is actually grey, morally speaking. The character is getting its own movie Solo: A Star Wars Story on May 25 and we can hardly wait.
So why Han Solo deserves his own movie? Well, because he is awesome. A smuggler and space-pirate, Han Solo explores the galaxy far, far away in his starship freighter, the Millennium Falcon, with his friend Chewbacca. He takes people where they cannot go legally. He helps Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi to reach Alderaan in the original Star Wars, only to discover that it is reduced to floating rubble. Han is not what you would call a “good” man. But he is not bad either. He is not a soldier of the dark side, though he worked with the Galactic Empire as an officer.
The only person he cares about when we meet him is his Wookiee friend Chewie. Their bromance is legendary in the franchise. Indeed, in epic stories, it is the bromances that are more compelling than romances. Or at least better done. Frodo and Sam’s relationship is far more well-known than Aragorn and Arwen’s among The Lord of the Rings fans. Thus, while Han Solo may be paired with Leia Organa in every sense of the word, fans will have fond memories of Han and Chewie instead. This is when we cannot understand Chewie’s weird sounds that are actually syllables of his language.
Han Solo is compelling also because he has some of the best lines in the franchise. Also, even the routine things he says like “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” and “Never tell me the odds!” have become iconic. He has a sarcastic side that he displays too often. “Don’t everyone thank me at once,” for instance, in which he hides his anger of not getting enough gratitude under the cloak of irony.
Han Solo is pretty relatable, too, as he is the neither-good-nor-bad person that resides within all of us. None of us is totally good or evil. We commit both morally good and bad deeds. And when it comes to the fate of the universe, not many of us will rise up to the occasion since we love living so much and it is good chance we may die in the battle against something as powerful as the Galactic Empire. We understand Han’s reluctance in committing to the rebel cause. He has his and Chewie’s life to lose. This relatability is, I think, accounts for the character’s insane popularity.
Alden Ehrenreich is donning the role in the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story and let’s hope he does a good job. The film will release on May 25.
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